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As many of you know, I am a proud bone marrow donor, having donated to my younger brother at age 14. I knew from the time I was five years old that I was a perfect HLA match for my baby brother, and it was never a question of if I would donate...it was a matter of when.
Both my brother and cousin were born with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), a rare genetic blood disorder, affecting 1 in 250,000 males and curable only through a bone marrow transplant. Back then, the life expectancy for children born with WAS was three years. My courageous little brother beat the odds, spending the first eleven years of his life in and out of hospitals fighting to live. Every minor childhood illness, every bump on the head, and every fall he took threatened to take him away from us. It robbed him of a normal childhood, but he fought tenaciously to survive. Fortunately, I was a perfect match for my brother, but my cousin had to rely on being matched with an anonymous donor. It was an agonizing time for my family as the days passed waiting for a match to be found. On May 5, 1997, an day now affectionately known in our family as Cinco de Marrow, my brother was given a second chance at life. My cousin, too, found a donor through Be The Match and for our family it was a happy ending. For 21 beautiful years I have been able to hug my brother, laugh with my brother, and create memories that will last our lifetime. I am grateful every day for the gift of time.
But the sad reality is, not everyone finds a match.
Since then, I have been very passionate about getting people to donate to this organization and/or sign up to become a potential donor. A simple swab can provide so much hope for those who are faced with such devastating news.
I have teamed up with Be The Match® to raise critical funds to help match volunteer marrow donors with patients who have blood cancers, like leukemia or lymphoma.
And YOU can help!
Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Often their only hope for a cure is a marrow transplant. Your contribution to the Be The Match Walk+Run will help provide that cure by helping add new potential marrow donors to the registry, helping patients struggling with uninsured costs and funding research. I'm helping blood cancer patients take the next step towards a life-saving marrow transplant by taking a few of my own, and I hope I can count on your support. Thank you for being someone's cure.Please help me reach my fundraising goal – make your tax-deductible contribution today!
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Every 3 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer.
Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia or other diseases like sickle cell anemia, need a marrow transplant to survive. Most patients don’t have a fully matched donor in their family — and that’s when they turn to Be The Match®. By participating in a Be The Match Walk+Run, or donating funds, you are providing life-saving support to those patients in need. Join the fight.